Julia R. Enyart
Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2009—2010 Forum on Connections
Julia R. Enyart
International Relations, French
Sovereignty at Stake: The Rise of the Franco-Algerian and Transnationalism in the French Republic
The complex ties between Algeria and France, as well as the migrants who transfer from the former to the latter, are grounded in a controversial history. Offering a particularly striking expression of the ongoing strain between the two countries, French president Nicholas Sarkozy repeated his refusal to atone for French colonial crimes in Algeria in December 2007, noting the “loathsome trend of apologies.” Indeed, this North African country gained independence more than four decades ago, and yet a tainted colonial bond still remains. Despite this strain on Franco-Algerian relations, the Algerian population in France continues to strengthen, as does their manifestation of what it means to be Algerian in France. By considering the French treatment of Islam and the secular policy of la laicite, as well as Algerian cultural festivals and Berber political associations, this thesis attempts to charter Franco-Algerian national identity. How does this hybrid national identity, and the transnational ties that inevitably accompany it, behave with the French nation-state? Will the French Republic have to learn how to accommodate new forms of identity in an era of increasing globalization? Finally, does transnationalism truly destroy the nation-state framework, and if not, what components of sovereignty does it threaten?